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UB Union calls out University management for “ignoring crucial issues”

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Posted: Friday, November 6, 2020. 5:58 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union (UBFSU) is taking up cudgels again with the University of Belize (UB), demanding communication on issues which it sees affecting the quality of education and the mental and physical well-being of all our students, staff, and  faculty.

The University and the Union reached agreement on September 11, the latter says, “to preserve jobs, soften salary cuts, and ensure faculty and staff input on crucial management decisions impacting them.”

But the Union complains that it has been side-lined and decisions on policy for faculty workload are not resolved, while early student registration begins this Monday.

Lecturers feel overwhelmed as do students and staff, but their proposals have been ignored by the office of the University’s vice-president, according to the Union.

Student services staff has been “gutted” from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, taking away key services including counseling for students and the recent situation with graduation issues is an example.

Despite well-publicized financial issues causing it to dismiss more than 100 staff and faculty, the University is confirmed to have hired a quality assurance director from Trinidad and Tobago over the Union’s objections. A new QA director, the Union says, must ensure the University provides substantive financial or staff support including addressing concerns of heavy workloads, the equitable treatment of employees and rehiring adjunct personnel to be worthy of the name.

The University has not responded thus far to our queries through the Marketing and Communications department after Human Resources Director, Hertha Gentle, directed us to email them last week. She said she was not authorized to speak on how many the University had to let go and whether they were released voluntarily or terminated.

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